TIME OF MIND
An exhibition of works by Stephen Lawson
Opening reception May 25th, 6-9pm
as part of Thomas Art Walk – ArtSpring Edition
The photo-based works grow from my background as a sculptor. These are four dimensional in concept and execution, but only two in the presentation. The concept of space and time is reconstructed in the mind of the viewer.
Almost thirty years ago, I based myself in rural West Virginia in order to be involved in “Earth-art,” that is, art that uses the Earth itself as the physical medium of expression. My concern was in conservation, which required me to develop a non-intrusive and participatory means of working in and with the landscape. This led to work in a manner that required photo documentation, and then to the camera becoming the “central tool.”
The unique cameras required to produce these time based works have been constructed by me and evolved over the years, one capability leading to the next. The first “rig” was put together in 1980. These have been very labor intensive, built with simple hand tools, hard work and patience, the conceptual skills as with the manual ones deriving from a background in sculpture.
The work is presented in a poetic mode that asks one to stand briefly outside the usual flow of time, hopefully causing us to reflect on our “time-in-the-world,” individually, culturally, and even as a species.
Born in 1942 in Scotland, Stephen Lawson was raised in a beautiful, visually rich landscape, in some aspects similar to West Virginia’s, where he has pursued his interest in time and nature’s processes for the last forty years. To capture these images which evidence time’s passage, both momentary and extended over a year, has required him to construct cameras unique to their purpose. Despite the struggles of low-income rural living, his works have found their way to museums such as Eastman and the Victoria & Albert. This exhibition contains a lifetime’s work.